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Oahu - what are your favorite NON-ASIAN joints?

hey all -- i've pretty much eaten thai, korean, japanese, chinese or vietnamese for 3 weeks straight. i love it all, however, last night my roommate and i decided to get a non-asian dinner --> was thinking something relatively inexpensive and not a huge time investment. IT WASN'T EASY TO DO!!!! wound up at that greek/mediterranean place on university (which leaves a lot to be desired). just off hand, couldn't really think of that many trustworthy places (keep in mind i haven't been in town long): kua aina burger at ward, bc burrito in kaimuki, ????????

as far as higher price range, i can think of places i havent tried yet like du vin (downtown), indigo, town....

so, what are your favorite non-asian restaurants in town? need to make myself a list...and i'm willing to travel the island a bit (from punchbowl/makiki area).


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  1. Big City Diner, Kakaako Kitchen, Likelike Drive In, Ono's, etc. for starters.If you like places like Patty's, L&Ls, Zippy's, Chilis, etc. These are inexpensive non-Asian places?

    1. Olive Tree Cafe near Kahala Mall, Ono Hawaiian Foods on Kapahulu, Kenny's Diner in Kalihi, Andy's (sandwiches and smoothies) in Manoa, Casablanca in Kailua (Moroccan food...if it's still open), although it's more for a nice dinner than just a bite to eat. I Love Country Cafe has plate lunches that are less local style, if that's not your thing. Any local drive in will have something like chili or a hamburger among other options. And there's always Zippy's.

      1. second on Big City Diner - and most of the rest, Azteca in Kaimuki (mexican), La PizzaRina on S. King by Keeamoku, Rainbow Drive In

        1. I had a surprisingly good lunch at Dixie Grill just Ewa from Ward Center. Being from New Orleans, and born & raised on the MS Gulf Coast, I did not hold out much hope, but we were there, and waiting for something at Ward - cannot recall what. Saw Dixie Grill and basically said, "what the hey." Really good Gulf-styled seafood, mostly fried, but well-done. It had the feel of a small-chain place, but pulled off lunch very well. So well, that I'd go back, and we usually have lunch and dinner reservations four months out, when on O`ahu. Definitely something different, non-Asian and not too expensive.

          I see that they have at least one other location too.


          Dixie Grill
          404 Ward Ave, Honolulu, HI

          Dixie Grill
          99 016 Kamehameha Hwy, D Aiea, HI

          3 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Dixie Grill on Ward has been turned into a mediocre place called Tio's Taco Truck owned by the same person. The only Dixie now is in Aiea, I used to really like the Ward location especially when I lived in town.

            1. re: manomin

              Bummer! It surprised me, but I guess that it did not get the traffic necessary. I was reluctant to go there, as I see so much imitation-Deep South fare, but it was really pretty good. Oh well, guess I'll have to trek to Aiea.


              1. re: manomin

                Ahhh, that explains it. Yesterday, after reading Bill's post, I decided to give it a try, but I could not find it!

            2. Town (3435 Wai‘alae Ave at 9th Ave, 735-5900: I could eat here every day. Neo-Med, contemporary American, and a lot of the produce is from Ma‘o Farms in Wai‘anae, if you're into being a locavore. http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/spe...

              12th Avenue Grill (1145C 12th Ave. 732-9469): Contemporary American bistro. Double-cut pork chop with housemade apple chutney. Mmm.

              Grand Cafe and Bakery (31 N. Pauahi St. 531-0001): American comfort food with a contemporary twist.

              1 Reply
              1. re: HIeats

                these are all good, but are not inexpensive

              2. If you're looking for super cheap, Da Spot hits the, uh, spot. It's a hole in the wall that serves up Middle-Eastern leaning plates such as Egyptian chicken. A mountain of food that's incredibly seasoned and spiced, with rice and salad. Just $7!
                908 Pumehana St. 941-1313 (at Algaroba I think)

                4 Replies
                1. re: HIeats

                  thanks all, that certainly expands my list -- i think i saw Da Spot at the farmer's market, no? gonna check that out soon - mahalo....

                  1. re: fatstern

                    Yes! Ahmad and Ako are at the KCC Farmers Market too. Speaking of the market, the tofu hekka and chicken long rice at Blue Lotus Farm booth are definitely worth trying.

                  2. re: HIeats

                    HIeats - you were wrong -- the plate at 'da spot' is only $6.50 - not $7! and well worth it. swung by there last night and got the egyptian chicken and vegetable curry, and it was damn good. have to agree, incredibly seasoned, mild heat (i've found i want most things spicier around here so far)...cardamom was really the spice i tasted most up front (this may have been due to me crunching down on a couple cardamom pods while eating - not incredibly pleasant), the chicken was wonderfully tender...the veggies were onions, eggplant, some greens, maybe some other squash.. brown rice was nice and nutty. this plate not only comes with the rice and salad but also with baklava, which they were unfortunately out of - but she gave me double salad and told me to ask for double baklava next time. its def a hole in the wall in a weird location, but i will 100% be going back.

                    1. re: fatstern

                      Glad to hear! Ha, nice description of the cardamom crunch.

                  3. For Italian food, I like Cafe Sistina and Mediterraneo, both on King and almost across from each other. Cafe Sistina has a very interesting dining room and the best espresso in any restaurant in town if you get Jessica to prepare it "like the owner likes it".

                    The food (but not the espresso) at Mediterraneo is a little better. The setting is not particularly special, but Mediterraneo has what very, very few restaurants (even very upscale ones) have anymore: tables with four legs, instead of those ubiquitous central pylon monsters that leave no appropriate room for your legs.

                    1. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Nico's at Pier 38 - excellent food, great value and a very cool setting right on the docks. The owner if a youngish Frenchman with a fine dining background. Look for the seafood special and any soups he may have going. This place is right next door to the fish auction so it doesn't get any fresher - unless you caught it yourself. Mix Cafe (owner is youngish Italian) on Beretania is a wonderful little spot as well. He has really good Italian meats for sandwiches and slow roasts pork and turkey as well. The country-style potato salad or roast veggies round out a nice plate of eats.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Yoshio

                        I keep hearing about Nico's @ Pier 38, but also keep forgetting to try it. Thinks for the memory jog.

                        BTW, from other threads, wife refused to go back to La Mer, this time, predicated on the wine service, or lack there of, last trip.

                        Nice to see you posting again,

                      2. great soups and sammiches at Covenant Books and Coffee Cafe in Kaimuki.
                        Cafe Laufer pretty good and interesting too nearby. for something different and very ono, try the acai bowl at Diamond Cove Health Cafe on Montsarrat. And DIamond Head Market has great plate lunch and sandwiches (both hot off the grill and cold inside).

                        high second on Olive Tree -- that place is awesome!

                        plus downtown my favorites are Kafe Europa (Armenian) and Good & Healthy Cafe (lebanese), as well as the Town offshoot Downtown (great lunch under $10).

                        plus speaking of Nico's, there's that new place down the pier from them that looks good too.